English Reviews

Review: Songs of Repression (2020)

Songs of Repression (2020)

Directed by: Marianne Hougen-Moraga, Estephan Wagner | 90 minutes | documentary, history

The rustic village of Villa Baviera is located in the Chilean Andes Mountains. At first glance, there seems to be nothing strange about the village, but the community has harbored a dark and enigmatic past for decades. Villa Baviera was originally an evangelical sect, led by the German ex-Nazi Paul Schäfer. During the regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet, Schäfer was guilty of the most horrific crimes, from murder to child abuse. After the death of the cult leader, many of his followers continued to live in Villa Baviera. These now elderly villagers still believe that Schäfer is innocent. While the elderly in the village continue to wash their hands in innocence, many of the young people try to cope with their traumatic childhood. Villa Baviera has since grown into a tourist attraction, but the closedness that once prevailed there still lives on in the eternal silence of the residents.

‘Songs of Repression’, a documentary by Marianne Hougen-Moraga and Estephan Wagner, is a particularly confrontational viewing experience. Most documentaries about human atrocities often only interview victims, but ‘Songs of Repression’ offers a more diverse picture. In the course of the documentary, various villagers are reviewed. So are the admirers of Schäfer, who don’t have to do much to disqualify themselves when it comes to credibility. Moments of intrigue alternate evenly with moments of disgust, before ending with a feeling of total defeat. It should be clear: this is heavy fare.

What ‘Songs of Repression’ seems to be particularly interested in is not so much the history of the events, nor the causes that contributed to Schäfer’s reign of terror. With ‘Songs of Repression’, the filmmakers first and foremost conduct an in-depth and daring investigation into remorse, forgiveness and silence. Especially the latter, the constant urge to remain silent and aloof, runs like a thread through the documentary. Everyone in the village has decided to forget the past: the perpetrators and accomplices are silent for comfort and for their own complacency, the survivors are silent out of fear and grief and the newcomers are silent to maintain Villa Baviera as an idyllic tourist resort.

Although the horror of Schäfer and his cohorts lies in the past, in the present their oppression has created a new kind of culture. History has been trivialized to futility, and factuality can easily melt away with simple narrow-mindedness. ‘Songs of Repression’ never gives false hope in that respect. The past has passed and yet injustice continues to this day. It’s not exactly a pleasant thought, but the documentary does provide us with advice: whatever you do, looking away is not an option anyway.

English Reviews

Review: The Ice Road (2021)

The Ice Road (2021)

Directed by: Jonathan Hensleigh | 109 minutes | action, adventure | Actors: Liam Neeson, Marcus Thomas, Laurence Fishburne, Amber Midthunder, Benjamin Walker, Holt McCallany, Martin Sensmeier, Matt McCoy, Matt Salinger, Chad Bruce, Adam Hurtig, Bradley Sawatzky, Marshall Williams, Paul Essiembre

In countries like Canada, Russia and the United States, where it can get really cold, ice roads are built in winter to supply remote areas. Sometimes such a route crosses a frozen lake, river or sea – if that happens to be the shortest route. Although the layers of ice over which these routes run are several tens of centimeters thick, it is of course still a risky undertaking to drive over them. Certainly if that has to happen with heavy thirty-tonners, as in the action film ‘The Ice Road’ (2021). Inspired by the stories shared by truckers in the reality series ‘Ice Road Truckers’, which has aired on the History Channel since 2017, Jonathan Hensleigh wrote a screenplay in which a rescue operation must be staged to free a group of miners from a collapsed mine in the Northern Canadian region of Manitoba. Hensleigh, who is best known as a screenwriter on films such as ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance’, ‘Jumanji’ (both 1995) and ‘Armageddon’ (1998) and who also took the director’s chair for ‘The Ice Road’, strict good old Liam Neeson for the lead role. The Irish veteran is already approaching seventy, but that doesn’t stop him from crossing swords with much younger opponents in one action film after another. Speaking of badass…!

In ‘The Ice Road’ Neeson plays Mike McCann, an experienced truck driver who has a somewhat unhappy career when he has to take his PTSD and aphasia-stricken brother Gurty (Marcus Thomas) in tow. Gurty is a genius mechanic who can fix technical defects on trucks in no time, but his condition also makes him a bit unpredictable and a target of ridicule for less understanding colleagues. When Mike loses his job again after yet another incident with Gurty, he is about to have his brother committed. At least temporarily, so he can earn some money to rent a truck so they can start their own business. But then a perilous but very lucrative assignment comes his way. Jim Goldenrod (Laurence Fishburne) is looking for a team of truckers to help on a rescue mission. Eight people have died in a mine explosion in Manitoba and 26 are still trapped underground. If they are not freed within thirty hours, they too will succumb. To get to the mine in time, the motorcade has to travel on ice roads. That in itself is dangerous, but since it is already April and the roads are actually already closed, it is very much like a suicide attack to drive three large trucks with the same number of heavy drill heads on the ice roads. Mike has nothing to lose anyway – and given the $200,000 reward for all participants who make it all the way to the finish line, all the more to gain – and goes along. Because a mechanic has to come along, Gurty can also join as Mike’s co-driver. The second truck is driven by Goldenrod himself and the third by a tough young woman, Tantoo (Amber Midthunder), whose brother turns out to be trapped in the mine. At the last minute, Varnay (Benjamin Walker) also joins the company, actuary and claims adjuster of Katka, the company that manages the mine. When disaster strikes hard on the first stretch of ice, Mike gets serious suspicions that he is a saboteur who will do anything to prevent the mission from succeeding…

Jonathan Hensleigh has a decent resume as a screenwriter and director, but his last film before ‘The Ice Road’ dates back to 2011 (‘Kill the Irishman’, starring Christopher Walken and Val Kilmer, among others). His return is certainly not his best work. ‘The Ice Road’ is quite predictable and the credibility is dropping by the minute. Anyone who has looked at Neeson’s palmares of the past fifteen years knows that he now has a patent on the character of the rugged action hero in age who can still be kicked and beaten, but simply cannot be knocked down. Here he also gets the necessary blows. Not only from the bad guy (who just hasn’t got it on his forehead yet that he’s the bad guy…) but also from the capricious and ruthless nature and the bitter cold. The technology also lets him down at times, but when Neeson is on a mission, nothing can stop him from completing it. The only thing that bothers him a bit is that the story is so clichéd, the characters are rather flat and the CGI at times looks laughably amateurish. Of course, Neeson can’t compete with that – not even him. Fans of Laurence Fishburne will be disappointed, because the star from, among others, the ‘Matrix’ series unfortunately gets very little to do here. Amber Midthunder is a spunky type and Marcus Thomas has the thankless job of providing the film with some kind of misplaced sentiment. The actors in the minor roles – Matt McCoy, Holt McCallany and Martin Sensmeier, among others – are too limited to stand out in a positive way.

Despite all those shortcomings, ‘The Ice Road’ somehow manages to build up a certain tension. Whether it’s because you’re aware of the dangers of such a mission with heavily loaded trucks over an increasingly thin layer of ice – if you drive too fast, waves will form under the ice and cause cracks on the door. , and driving too slow is obviously not an option at all – or because of our sympathy for the lived-in, unlikely action hero that Liam Neeson is today – who knows. In any case, ‘The Ice Road’ raises mixed feelings: on the one hand you get annoyed by all the clichés and poorly executed action scenes, on the other hand this action thriller is entertaining enough to keep you busy for one hour and 49 minutes.

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Full Movie: Bundy And The Green River Killer | Full Crime Thriller Movie

Bundy And The Green River Killer | Full Crime Thriller Movie

Bundy And The Green River Killer – Based on terrifying true life elements which inspired Silence of the Lambs. In 1984, police in Washington State are investigating a spate of serial murders committed by a mysterious man known as The Green River Killer. With no leads to go on, the detective in charge of the case consults with psychologists in an attempt to get inside the mind of the killer. But when that doesn’t produce a positive result and the killings continue, the detective realizes that the only way to understand what makes a serial killer tick is to meet one. So he visits the imprisoned Ted Bundy, one of the most notorious serial killers in American history.

Stars: Mark Homer, Andromeda Godfrey, Rahel Kapsaski

English Reviews

Review: Come True (2020)

Come True (2020)

Directed by: Anthony Scott Burns | 105 minutes | horror, science fiction | Actors: Julia Sarah Stone, Landon Liboiron, Carlee Ryski, Christopher Heatherington, Tedra Rogers, Brandon DeWyn, John Tasker, Austin Baker, Shane Ghost Keeper, Christopher Thomas, Caroline Buzanko, Orin McCusker, Tyler Dreger, Karen Johnson-Diamond

In ‘Come True’, runaway Sarah is plagued by nightmares. She sleeps so lousyly that she can only get a good night’s sleep in a local playground and it is therefore getting worse at school. In desperation, Sarah decides to take part in a sleep experiment. From this point, ‘Come True’ transforms from an eerie teenage drama with a dryly comic note into a ghastly psycho-horror, with the necessary scares.

Dreaming and sleeping, or the lack thereof, play a big part in the Canadian production ‘Come True’. The film consists of chapters with titles such as persona, anima and animus, and shadow. These titles refer to concepts of the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, which is an appropriate find and gives the film an extra layer. Little by little, the story reveals Sarah’s dream world. The art direction in the dream scenes consists entirely of ghostly grays and has a dingy image quality. The waking world mainly consists of pastel colors and an eighties film aesthetic. The stark contrast between dream and non-dream creates an intensely menacing atmosphere throughout almost the entire film. In addition, the waking world just doesn’t feel quite realistic, as if something is constantly wrong, as in the cult favorite ‘Donnie Darko’ (Richard Kelly, 2001). All these ingredients, plus a great portrayal of lead actress Julia Stone as Sarah, guarantee a strong start for the film. It is a pity that the good ideas in ‘Come True’ run out fairly quickly.

In terms of art direction and casting, director Anthony Scott Burns often borrows late 1970s and 1980s horror from Hollywood and European cinema, and does so in a skillful and at times challenging manner. ‘Come True’ swings in style between modernized Giallo horror, such as the ‘Suspiria’ version from 2018 (Luca Guadagnino), and the body horror of Canadian master filmmaker David Cronenberg (‘Videodrome’, 1983; ‘Existenz’, 1999; ‘A History of Violence’, 2005). You can also watch ‘Come True’ as a more mature version of “Stranger Things” (Matt and Ross Duffer, 2016) with a dash of teen eroticism.

The atmosphere of the film is therefore entertaining and effective, but content, especially story-technical, does not go smoothly. The plot and backstory of ‘Come True’ are rather on the thin side compared to the body horror of compatriot Cronenberg. The film even seems to lose track in the second half. Also, different acting performances are qualitatively unbalanced. Lead actress Sarah Stone is completely absorbed in her character, but some supporting roles seem to be made of cardboard and in a slightly comic version of the scenario. On top of that, the soundtrack isn’t as subtle and thoughtful as the art direction. Every now and then the music waltzes through the china cabinet, which does not always benefit the film’s strongest point, the atmosphere.

While ambition is certainly not wrong, Scott Burns may have wanted too much at once. Here he tries to combine psychological horror and teen drama with dry comic elements. He therefore fails to do what, for example, contemporary Ari Aster has done better with ‘Hereditary’ (2018) and ‘Midsommar’ (2019) – putting your own stamp on a well-known genre on the basis of a robust story. Nevertheless, Scott Burns makes a brave attempt to continue Canadian body horror and you can safely put on ‘Come True’ as a snack.

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Review: Once Upon a Time in Venezuela (2020)

Once Upon a Time in Venezuela (2020)

Directed by: Anabel Rodríguez Ríos | 99 minutes | documentary

The lyrics of the song that an old inhabitant of Congo Mirador starts to sing while floating around on his boat, is very promising: ‘I am very lucky to be born in Congo Mirador…’.

Once upon a time it was indeed very fortunate to be born in this idyllic fishing village. The village on the edge of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela sits above one of the largest oil fields in Latin America and was reasonably prosperous for a long time. The floating houses formed a thriving community. But it turns out to rumble beneath the idyll: sedimentation (a process in which sinking material such as small and sand accumulates on the bottom) causes it to become shallower, making it more difficult for residents to keep their homes afloat. Aquatic life is in a bad state, amenities have been neglected by the government and many families are moving to the city or to neighboring Colombia in the hope of a better life. The residents no longer feel the great happiness of yesteryear.

Venezuelan director Anabel Rodríguez Ríos (herself from the capital Caracas) follows the remaining families in her intimate documentary ‘Once Upon a Time in Venezuela’. We see domestic scenes in the small community of wooden houses on stilts. A young girl gets ready for the day, combs her hair, prepares arepas and a little later leaves with her brother in their boat.

We also meet Tamara, a woman who considers herself the grande dame of Congo Mirador. A hefty diva, leader of the socialist party’s local branch and idolatrous of the late former president Hugo Chavez. Her house is full of his image and is a sweet raid for fellow party members.

It turns out that in addition to problems with the practical liveability in the village, the community faces another major problem: the great political division, as the teacher of the only primary school, Natalie, puts it. ‘Chavistas’ on the one hand and opposition supporters on the other are causing major tensions.

And it is not Natalie who sows the division, she says herself. The firing comes from Tamara, who is portrayed as a good but lonely and greedy woman, landowner, fond of food and telephone, whose only distraction is apparently to organize evenings for her comrades from the Socialist Party. Natalie on the other hand is the altruistic and critical teacher, who pays for all the necessities for the makeshift school out of her own pocket and does not let herself be bullied away by representatives of the federal government who make her work impossible with bullying visits.

The battle between these two camps goes from small to large: the two women represent the whole of Congo and the village again represents the rest of the country. For example, director Rodríguez Ríos subtly but penetratingly shows how this division, in combination with neglected facilities such as food, care and education, is slowly but surely pushing a country to the abyss.

The shot of five young girls is beautiful, just before the annual beauty pageant that takes place that evening. After a long dress up, they sit in white and pink princess dresses, their faces covered in make-up and their black hair tied back to the back, side by side on a bench. Their faces speak volumes: bored, insecure and with a fresh reluctance they head for the evening. Moving, but also wry since we saw just before how an older sister of one of them got married recently, at the age of 13, and now – barely 14 years old – is pregnant.

Tamara, meanwhile, is preparing for the upcoming elections: every vote counts for the socialist party, and the local leader does not care about getting the votes in. How shameless it is, she just lets them film. Voting in exchange for a telephone, for cash, for gifts, food; there is nothing strange about it to her. Besides shameless, it is also the sad reality of what remains of the ‘socialist revolution’: an army of local party workers who mainly meet, cherish a story that no longer exists and go into the country at every election to buy votes.

A few scenes later we see Tamara herself visit the governor in Maracaibo, an exciting visit that ends in disappointment. It is striking how she is treated: riddled with chic rooms and a tasty breakfast, but her – surprisingly emotional – account of Congo’s problems is ignored. In the middle of her story, the governor picks up his phone to have a completely different conversation.

The film cleverly builds up to the parliamentary elections of December 6, 2015, which had a surprising outcome. The sad aftermath of this is unfortunately history: although the opposition won, President Maduro replaced the parliament in its entirety a year and a half later with a newly set up sham institution. Because of the special characters and the surprising structure, ‘Once Upon a Time in Venezuela’ very convincingly portrays how one village symbolizes the entire country: despite its lucrative location on top of a gigantic oil field, it is deserted, cut off from the outside world, corrupt, divided to the bone and sinking.


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Review: Last tango – One more tango (2015)

Director: German Kral | 85 minutes | documentary, musical

“If I died and was born again, I would do it all again; above all being a tango dancer. I would do anything again, except start a relationship with Juan. ” We are introduced to the 80-year-old and still beautiful María Nieves. For over forty years she formed a tango couple with the now 83-year-old Juan Carlos Copes. Together they were the epitome of Argentine tango for many years. They toured Latin America, the US and even Japan with their tango shows. They met in the late 1940s in one of the many milongas (tango salons) in Buenos Aires in those years. María was still a teenager, who knew nothing about tango yet but danced for hours in the house while listening to the radio. Juan was determined to become the best dancer in the milonga and found the perfect partner in María.

So much for the romantic narrative of this story, which has spread over so many decades and is depicted in this documentary with fiction elements, directed by the Argentinian-German filmmaker German Kral. Because behind the special partnership was in reality grief, rejection and jealousy. We see María talk about the early days, often musing, full of humor and self-perspective. But now and then her true feelings seep through. She fell in love with a handsome young dancer, who was actually a shrewd businessman and – despite his self-proclaimed respect for her as a dancer and as a human being – never really loved her all these years. Less is spoken by Juan himself, who, like María, is beautifully preserved and still performs on stage every night as a dancer. But not with María; Their partnership came to an abrupt end in the late 1990s when Juan declared overnight after touring overnight that he would never dance with her again. The film shows why: his wife, twenty years younger, stopped working with María and demanded their business divorce from Juan.

Juan and María tell their story in front of the camera and to a group of young tango dancers and choreographers, who in turn depict all the beautiful, dramatic and tragic moments in the couple’s history while dancing. The creation of these dance scenes and the spectacular result of them gives the film a great love for the tango, not only in text but also in images. In between, we see the protagonists wandering the streets of the Argentinian capital, which is so different from half a century ago; which they sometimes hardly recognize. “Here in the 1950s we danced in hundreds at a time, under the stars!” María exclaims as she takes the film crew to what has now become a dilapidated gymnasium. These fragments not only made the film a personal story, but also the (sometimes a bit too) nostalgic history of an irrevocably changed city. The genre changes work when the interviews with Juan and María are interspersed with the dance sequences, but the director wanted to show too much of the realization. That is not always necessary, he would rather have edited more of the rare but fantastic archive material into the film.

The story that is often painful for María also has a somewhat bitter aftertaste for the viewer. She visibly enjoys the admiration she gets from the young dancers, but there is something gnawing about. “Being financially independent and being able to make my own plan has been good for me, but being alone at 80 is not nice for anyone,” she says softly as she looks back on her life. She too would have liked to have a family, children to take care of her. Most of all, she has retained the grace of a dancer and still has the love of tango in her life.

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Review: Tristan & Isolde (2006)

Directed by: Kevin Reynolds | 120 minutes | action, drama, romance | Actors: James Franco, Sophia Myles, Rufus Sewell, David O’Hara, Henry Cavill, JB Blanc, Jamie King, Leo Gregory, Richard Dillane, Wolfgang Müller, Barbora Kodetová, Gordon Truefitt, Jack Montgomery, Marek Vasut, David Fisher, Bronwen Davies, Kevin Flood, Philip O’Sullivan, Nevin Finnegan, Jón Ólafsson, Winer Ave Zoli, Dexter Fletcher, Bronagh Gallagher, Tiffany Amber Knight, Todd Kramer, Thomas Morris, Isobel Scott Moynihan, Cheyenne Rushing, Lucy Russell, Thomas Sangster, Miroslav Simunek, Hans Martin Stier, Mark Strong, Myles Taylor, Ronan Vibert

What about the original medieval legend again? Tristan was an orphan who grew up under the care of King Mark of Cornwall and became the kingdom’s chief knight. When Mark asked his protégé to accompany his future bride from Ireland to her new homeland, the two mistakenly drank the love potion that this Isolde’s mother brewed for her daughter and Mark, resulting in an unbreakable but also impossible love between the faithful knight. and his queen. Sworn faithfulness, it is a concept that nowadays no longer seems to be sold to viewers. How do you imagine the conflict of loyalty between two lovers who cannot be together because they value this classical medieval value as much as love?

That doesn’t work (anymore) proves ‘Tristan + Isolde’ by Kevin Reynolds (‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’), based on one of the most famous love stories in world history. Certainly not when the supernatural motif, the love potion, is removed from the story: whatever beautiful pictures you show, no matter how well they are played, without this essence, the legend of Tristan and Isolde becomes a different story. a minor element of the legend is emphasized to make Tristan and Isolde fall in love under guiltless stars – see further the summary. With this change, the romance – especially when the essential figure Mark is pushed to the background – is stripped of its sting. The adaptation saves the rationale that extramarital love is justified, but where is Tristan’s despair for the betrayal and where is Isolde’s pride as queen? Tristan eventually chooses his own honor and Isolde is reduced to an adolescent wind child who only wants to see the passion; even in our day, worldly considerations are more important: road tragedy; if, therefore, the joint death does not materialize, with the intertwining branches on the graves of both lovers (which convinces Mark of the noble nature of their love, the moral of the original story) we must let go of the legend.

We’ll do that, however difficult it may be. The medieval setting is beautifully cared for in ‘Tristan + Isolde’ and the fighting is quite unromantic but successful. Breathtaking images of the Irish coast, where our ill-fated build their first love nest; beautiful actors too, who can make love very well. ‘Tristan + Isolde’ is an entertaining action film with a romantic character, with a convincing female lead and a Tristan that has some characteristics of Richard Gere; we can only say that it is an appealing whole. However, the source story’s bitter power is lacking.

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Review: A Simple Story (1978)

Directed by: Claude Sautet | 105 minutes | drama | Actors: Romy Schneider, Bruno Cremer, Claude Brasseur, Arlette Bonnard, Sophie Daumier, Eva Darlan, Francine Bergé, Roger Pigaut, Madeleine Robinson, Jacques Sereys, Jean-François Garreaud, Yves Knapp, Nicolas Sempe, Vera Schroeder, Xavier Gélin, Jean Deschamps, Nadine Alari, Pierre Semmler, Michel Debost, Pierre Forget, Patricia Francis, Blanche Ravalec

The social drama ‘Une histoire simple’ ended the collaboration between director Claude Sautet and actress Romy Schneider. That liaison started eight years earlier with the beautiful ‘Les choses de la vie’ and would produce a total of five films. Schneider’s untimely death in 1982 made further cooperation definitely impossible. ‘Une histoire simple’ turned out to be a closing song in style, although the quality of the film would be slightly behind that phenomenal first album.

As the title suggests, ‘Une histoire simple’ tells a simple story. Marie, near her forties, leaves her boyfriend Serge and returns to former husband Georges. When she once again shows her worst side, Marie opts for an independent existence.

As simple as the story is, this histoire could have been a lot simpler if there weren’t so many characters walking around. Certainly in the beginning, as a viewer you have to do your best (too) hard to figure out who is actually who, and who belongs to whom and who does not. Fortunately, with Marie, there is only one real protagonist, so that you have at least one target.

Although the personal drama in ‘Une histoire Simple’ is not always that interesting, the film does give a striking picture of the French middle class at the end of the 1970s. The moral liberation of the 1960s had taken place in the course of the 1970s. expanded into the lower classes for years, leaving behind a smoldering mess of broken homes, lonely individuals, and relationships doomed by disloyalty. On the other hand, the modern woman no longer had to conform to the whims of her husband and could build an independent existence on her own.

Increasing economic liberalization has also had its winners and losers. Man or woman, young or old, anyone could compete in the race for the best jobs and everyone could fall victim to budget cuts and mergers. Sautet uses his characters to show both sides of progress: Marie who is able to build an independent existence and the old Jérôme who is thrown into the garbage as a worn-out employee.

All this is brought in the tradition of the French chat film, so that your ears ring out afterwards. But even with ringing ears, it’s still worth seeing Schneider acting under the direction of Sautet. The director always managed to bring out the best in the actress, making their collaboration one of the most fruitful in film history. Those who want a brilliant taste of it should check out ‘Les choses de la vie’. For those who are happy with a little less, ‘Une histoire simple’ is a great alternative.

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Review: The Tourist (2014)

Director: Ruben Östlund | 118 minutes | drama | Actors: Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Vincent Wettergren, Clara Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju, Fanni Metelius, Karin Myrenberg, Brady Corbet, Johannes Moustos, Jorge Lattof, Adrian Heinisch, Michael Breitenberger

Disaster film has turned out to be a small but successful niche in film history. Not only do these kinds of films guarantee aesthetic spectacle, they are also able to get into the heads of characters. Because how do people behave in these kinds of extraordinary situations? By magnifying these kinds of circumstances, we as spectators come to know something about humanity. And about ourselves.

That principle works out solidly in ‘Turist’. No volcanoes, tornadoes or alien invasions here. The omnipresent avalanche danger on ski holidays is central. This everydayness has the effect of bringing the threat uncomfortably close. The problems the characters face feel lifelike. And that while the holiday started so well for the Swedish family that forms the core of ‘Turist’.

Father Tomas has well deserved winter sports. The work normally eats up all its time. In the French Alps he can finally spend some time with his family again. Mother Ebba is only too happy that he can now focus on their two children. The family does everything together. Skiing together, brushing their teeth together and they even sleep together in one bed. They enjoy the bright sunshine, each other’s company and their time on the slopes. Yet not everything is peaceful. The work phone, for example, still rings very often. However, it doesn’t get in the way of their enjoyment.

That changes when the four of them enjoy lunch on a terrace of a restaurant located high in the mountains. The view is phenomenal. When a deliberately excited avalanche rages down, cameras and telephones quickly appear. But then the snow mass comes very close. Several people start to scream in fear. Likewise the children of Tomas and Ebba. When the latter cries out for help, Tomas appears to have instinctively run off like a hare. Wow, women and children first. In the end, the terrace is only covered with a layer of drifting snow, but the damage has been done. Can the two parents still trust each other in times of need?

The aftereffect of the avalanche is worked out in a controlled manner in ‘Turist’. Relationships are increasingly under pressure. Small imperfections become large fractures. There is a constant sense of constant threat, made possible in part by the driving music. Ebba’s anger towards her husband continues to grow. The children respond by rebelling against their parents. Tomas, meanwhile, pretends that his nose is bleeding, thus widening the gap. And then the film is only twenty minutes away. Although the tempo and tension often drop very far and the film sometimes comes across as somewhat unbalanced, the downward spiral in which the family finds itself no longer seems to break through. Like a metaphorical avalanche, the family plunges into the abyss at a painful speed.

Avalanches are a common threat in ski resorts today. With the increase in the number of winter sports enthusiasts and the risk that they consciously undergo by moving off-piste, the risk of accidents is increasing. The influence that this has on the family situation is immense. With ‘Turist’, director Ruben Östlund brings a relevant film that reveals human behavior in such situations in a clever and intense way.

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Review: Up Close & Personal (1996)

Director: Jon Avnet | 124 minutes | drama, romance | Actors: Robert Redford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Stockard Channing, Joe Mantegna, Kate Nelligan, Glen Plummer, James Rebhorn, Scott Bryce, Raymond Cruz, Dedee Pfeiffer, Miguel Sandoval, Noble Willingham, James Karen, Brian Markinson, Michael Laskin, Robert Keith Watson , Lily Nicksay, Joanna Sanchez, Daniel Zacapa, Heidi Swedberg, Yareli Arizmendi, Michael Vilani, Elizabeth Ruscio, Larry John Meyers, Andy Prosky, Bruce Gray, Norman Parker, Lorielle New, Roger Rathburn, Rhonda Overby, Fabian

Not long after Nicole Kidman in the thriller ‘To Die For’, Michelle Pfeiffer in ‘Up Close & Personal’ is also determined to reach the top of the TV world. This film is based on the true story of Jessica Savitch, who became the first anchorwoman in the history of American national television in the 1970s. Where the initial intention was to make a biographical film about this woman, the writers ultimately opted more for entertainment. That simply scores better at the till, was the thought. That is somewhat unfortunate, because Savitch’s life story – she was already killed in a car accident at the age of 36 – involves much more than what the viewer is now presented with. But that’s no more than a side note. ‘Up Close &

Pfeiffer, as Sally, is very endearing in her attempts to prove herself as a news reporter, without having any experience whatsoever. She ended up where she wanted to be thanks to a CV that was lied to each other; at the TV news. But then?! In the beginning, this sometimes leads to comical situations, such as when she is accidentally announced as ‘Tally’ by her colleague during her first live broadcast and stares into the camera with her teeth full of teeth. From that moment on, not only her name change is a fact, but the comic scenes also become more sparse. Fortunately! The relationship between Tally and her mentor at the TV station Warren (Redford) – which is carefully built up by director Jon Avnet – shifts more and more from the business to the personal field from that moment on. And then all brakes are released at Pfeiffer and Redford. The chemistry between the two is unprecedented, which makes for romance with a capital R. Like in the scene in which both are in the editing room and do not (yet) wish to give in to their longing for each other. Without too much text, both actors know how to put so much tension in that scene that you as a viewer almost get excited. In any case, Redford is very credible in his role as a charming mentor who has experienced everything in the TV world. But given his experience, appearance and charisma, that is of course also entrusted to him. What follows is a compelling love drama where the handkerchiefs can be pulled out. Like in the scene where both are in the editing room and do not (yet) wish to give in to their longing for each other. Without too much text, both actors know how to put so much tension in that scene that you as a viewer almost get excited. In any case, Redford is very credible in his role as a charming mentor who has experienced everything in the TV world. But given his experience, appearance and charisma, that is of course also entrusted to him. What follows is a compelling love drama where the handkerchiefs can be pulled out. Like in the scene where both are in the editing room and do not (yet) wish to give in to their longing for each other. Without too much text, both actors know how to put so much tension in that scene that you as a viewer almost get excited. In any case, Redford is very credible in his role as a charming mentor who has experienced everything in the TV world. But given his experience, appearance and charisma, that is of course also entrusted to him. What follows is a compelling love drama where the handkerchiefs can be pulled out. In any case, Redford is very credible in his role as a charming mentor who has experienced everything in the TV world. But given his experience, appearance and charisma, that is of course also entrusted to him. What follows is a compelling love drama where the handkerchiefs can be pulled out. In any case, Redford is very credible in his role as a charming mentor who has experienced everything in the TV world. But given his experience, appearance and charisma, that is of course also entrusted to him. What follows is a compelling love drama where the handkerchiefs can be pulled out.

The music also contributes to this, because it is beautiful when the emotions run high. Dianne Warren deservedly received a Grammy Award and Oscar nomination for her song ‘Because you loved me’ (performed by Celine Dion). At the same time, the film also offers a critical view of the TV world, in which you can be just as easily made as you can be dismissed. Especially as a woman you have a limited expiration date because of your appearance, as fellow bitch Marcia (a great supporting actor of Stockard Channing!) Makes clear to Tally when she indicates that she is lying about her age. The question also arises whether a TV station should deliver the news as it is, or should it tell it as the public would like to hear it? These are points that director Avnet discusses in the background. Where it in ‘Up Close & Personal ‘mainly revolves around is the love between two people that knows no boundaries. This will even feel so real to the viewer that the surprising ending will leave almost everyone with a lump in the throat!